Quest [Fall 19 Seasonal Quest] Ripple Me This

Five individuals are brought together for fantastical reasons. What they will encounter will be even more outrageous.

(This is a thread from Mizahar's fantasy role play forum. Why don't you register today? This message is not shown when you are logged in. Come roleplay with us, it's fun!)

A city floating in the center of a lake, Ravok is a place of dark beauty, romance and culture. Behind it all though is the presence of Rhysol, God of Evil and Betrayal. The city is controlled by The Black Sun, a religious organization devoted to Rhysol. [Lore]

[Fall 19 Seasonal Quest] Ripple Me This

Postby Sevris on December 12th, 2019, 6:35 am

As Sevris drew closer to the man posted overwatching the people. He noticed that though they were near near each other. They couldn't have been further apart. Sevris's words had no bearing or effect on the person, as he they were simply not there. A very troubling thought. The others seemed apprehensive about his brazen approach, though Rohka seemed just as interested as well.

She peered around him, eyeing the man. She then asked if Sevris noticed what the man was wearing. To which Sevris answered, "His robes are familiar, he is a servant of Rhysol. Devoid of any symbols of the Black Sun or Ebonstryfe. It seems familiar from my studies. Such as these robes were common before the Valterrian." He was trying to recall where he got the vague memory of the wardrobe.

While he was pondering, the calm and friendly look the man was giving off began to fade from his face. Sevris noticed it immediately, a telltale sign that something had began to loom. Then he confirmed it with a quiet, "Oh no." For some reason Sevris had begun to feel alarmed as well.

That alarmed turned to fear as the man began yelling at everyone nearby to take cover. His shouts rang loud all around them as the sky began to take on a different hue. A large group of people wasted no time at the order, believing his direction, they dropped everything. People piled past the group to head towards the shrine. The animals of all types also began to retreat, wherever they could.

Sevris turned his attention to the sky behind them. Noticing a slow luminous glow emanating in the distance. The Soldier knew the man had noticed something that was not there. There was a distant cry that could be heard. The cry seemed to come from an impossible location. It vibrated within the chest of Sevris as he could feel unyielding rage. Such anger. I've felt something like this before. But never on this scale. As it began to get louder, it suddenly happened.

A wall of fire, spiraling into the air for about fifty feet. At a monsterous height, it also seemed to have no end. There was no escape from something like this, it spelled certain doom. Fear spread throughout his entire body, as he witnessed true destruction. He looked reactively too the rest of the group around him, he was supposed to provide protection. There was no answer for this.

The fire consumed everything in its path. Passing over the forests, and burning every tree to crisp. Boiling the lake behind them into vapor. The shrine doors closed behind them as they braced for the hit. Sevris and the group could do nothing but watch. The fire slammed right through them, a barrier around them became outlined in the flames.

They were so powerful, for in the void bubble they were in. He was still able to feel a great heat from the fire now consuming everything around them. The Lazarin's view was raging fire that whirled around them destroying everything in sight. The group could not see past the flames, only endure its wrath.

Then it was over.

The flames passed by, and in its wake was complete annihilation of everything that was there. Sevris was beside himself, they had just witnessed the Valterrian. No mortal could ever claim to have seen what happened during the Valterrian. The Immortals of Mizahar barely survived this explosion of divinity, and they were few and far in between.

That cry he heard, must have been the God Ivak. His burning fury was much powerful after witnessing it firsthand. Sevris shuddered. The shrine was the only building still in fair shape. While the village that was next to it had been completely burned down. All life and vegetation was had been extinguished as well. A tragedy of many tales.

Trying to understand what had just befallen him in shock. About a single bell passed before their senses were muted again. As before the world swirled around them, turning into a murky water pit. They were being moved again. And just like that, they were before the shrine again. However it was different.

This felt real. The signs were immediate when the biting cold snapped at his face as he noticed patches of snow. The lake was frozen, and the sky was so ashen it was impossible to tell the time of day. The barrier he had noticed had all but disappeared. It was time to move from out of this cold quickly. "Perhaps the shrine can give us answers to what we have seen." Sevris said to the rest of the group. Maybe they were just as shocked as he was. Pulling the furs tighter around his shoulders, he looked

It was incredibly useful that the Voice had prepared them for the bitter cold. Now they had to get out while they could. The Lazarin made his way to the shrine, eager to get answers. The double-doors were weathered, aged and but strong. He reached out towards the handles. He tried pulling the the doors open, but instead something else happened. An ethereal door opened while the physical remained sealed. Though the echos opened wide and disappeared into the fade.

Almost as if it was opened on a different plane. Sevris was wide-eyed, he stopped short but continued on. That was new. the Chaon thought. He walked into shrine, and an image of survival. Long gone were the glorious times of this shrine. But here it still survived, even through the Valterrian. The first part they would enter would be a large chamber.

The walls were discolored, and age had done its damage to the structural integrity of the shrine. There were even some makeshift cots nearby for the people who lived here. In the center of the hall, Sevris noticed that there was a similar crystal shard to the one at the Temple of the Black Sun. There seemed to be an altar shrine right before the shard. In front of the altar was a figure seen kneeling.

As he drew closer he was able to tell that it was a man. And he had already been frozen to death with the frost settled nicely around him. Sevris shook his head in disappointment. The Valterrian spared no one from anguish and pain. The Soldier walked past and continued his exploration. Walking past the makeshift cots, he saw something stashed on top of a pile of clothes. A teddy bear.

Intrigued he reached down to grab the bear, but his hands slipped right through it. An ethereal feel like the one on the shrine doors. However he was filled with memories that were not his, but of a girl. The collar told him the bear was named, "Terry" and its loss of fur was to her petting it so much. This teddy bear brought comfort to the hard life of the little girl. Abused by her father before she even came to the shrine.

Then she contracted a sickness due to the hazardous conditions brought on by the Valterrian. Sevris for once was filled pity but it was softened that she had peace in her death due to the teddy bear. He joined the others in looking around, if Rohka had indeed entered living quarters of the Caretaker. He would follow and also interact with the journal on top of the task.

Giving himself time to put things together to see if what they had learned from the journal could help them connect the dots. While he pondered on that, they all heard a powerful laughter outside of the shrine. They had been exposed to some of the strangest events. Perhaps that was only just the beginning.

For Sevris turned to the sound and walked over to get a better look outside the shrine doors to see what was the source. He was greeted with disgusting sight. A beast of creature that could only be a spawn of nightmares. The creature stood on top of the frozen lake about 8 feet tall, with scaly unwashed spored skin. A bald head to boot with a hideously gluttonous face, with rows of sharp teeth smiling at them. It wore a disgusting black skirt hid the rest of the monstrosity.

Beside it was a very large silver and grey wolf. This was no ordinary wolf, even to Sevris. He had battled a Dire Wolf in one of his first missions. But this wolf was much bigger than that one.

Sevris had only seen immortals that could match the size of that creature. Like his Grandfather before him, Lazerian. The Druvin. Whatever it was, they could not hope to match up with it.

"Whatever that is and its pet. We'd be best dealing with them inside the shrine should they mean us harm." Taking their size into account, if they were in trouble. Sevris would protect everyone here. He kept a steady hand his sheathed longsword.

They were in a predicament.
User avatar
Sevris
Loyal Soldier
 
Posts: 307
Words: 180445
Joined roleplay: July 24th, 2012, 5:26 pm
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Medals: 1
Trailblazer (1)

[Fall 19 Seasonal Quest] Ripple Me This

Postby Shiress on December 27th, 2019, 6:18 am

Image


Shiress's gaze was locked onto the man in robes expectantly, but when it became apparent that he could not hear Sevris, she couldn't help but feel relieved, though she had no idea why. She had just begun to relax, eyes drifting away over the nearby huts when she thought she heard the stranger speak. Eyes returning, Shiress needn't have understood the man's words to know that something had filled him with sheer terror. Attempting to follow his terror-filled gaze, Shiress saw nothing, but a tick later, she heard it.

A low rumbling filled the air from a distance that, at first, Shiress mistook for thunder, but as it grew in volume and intensity, Shiress knew it wasn't thunder at all.
A fury filled wail seemed to carry across the land, borne on the very air around them. Behind her, the robed man standing in the shrine's doorway let out a desperate plea to those around him to seek shelter. Shiress spun, taking a step forward, very much wanting to head the call, but the boundary around her and her companions held fast.

Where she stood spinning in place, people were running around and through their concealed confines, even through herself and the others. It seemed a sort of organized chaos. That is until the ground began to shake. Those running closest to where she watched were thrown off balance, many tripping and falling only to be grabbed up and dragged along by someone else. Shiress watched as a female tore from a nearby hut, a baby in her arms, and three more children running in her wake.

Shiress stared in horror as the smallest of the fleeing family was thrown off her feet, hitting the ground hard, and began crying. A young boy stopped and turned back to help her, begging her to get up, but the little girl didn't move. For several long ticks, the young boy pulled and yanked at the girl, his face creased with fear and desperation. Shiress watched as the boy glanced up, then back down to the girl only to slowly return his gaze to what had captured his attention. Shiress followed his line of sight and froze where she stood.

Just over the treetops, a dull glow filled the horizon, and even as she watched flames licked up over the forest, becoming a raging inferno from the ground as far up as Shiress could see. A wall of fire was raging straight toward her. Toward all of them. Toward the children.

Shiress spun, pressing herself hard against the barrier. "Run!" she urged quietly, desperately willing the young ones to move, but the girl, despite the boys almost violent attempts to get her to stand, sat stubbornly in the dirt, staring at the incoming firestorm. "Get up!" Shiress yelled, eyes brimming with tears. Beneath her, the ground rolled with trimmers while around her the air filled with the unmistakable cacophony of nature attempting to escape an inevitable death, and still, Shiress screamed at the young ones to move.

Heat permeated the small area of the barrier, and Shiress need not turn to know that it was too late. The great wall of fire engulfed her, and her companions and Shiress screamed again or thought she did. She couldn't hear anything but the roar of the inferno and the inhuman madness surrounding her.

Then it was over.

Shiress wiped sweat and tears from her face struggling to focus on the spot where the little girl and boy had been. They were gone. There one tick and gone the next. There was nothing left. For a long while, she stared, uncomprehending what had just happened. Had it been real? A hallucination? Someone's idea of what the Valterrian might have been like or had they truly stepped back in time. Had those kids truly existed before and had been killed? Was their mother mourning their loss even now?

Shiress reeled at the myriad of confusing thoughts battling inside her skull. So when her senses began to warp as before, she was very nearly relieved. Squeezing her eyes closed, willing her stomach not to rebel again, Shiress held her breath until the feeling subsided. When her eyes opened, she remained where she had been, though it was apparent an unknown amount of time had passed. Her breath misted before her face as she peered around. It was much colder now, and the days' light was muted by ash. When Sevris spoke, breaking the uneasy silence, and moved toward the shrine, Shiress didn't hesitate to hurry alongside him, offering the man a half-hearted smile as they stepped toward the doorway.

Once through, she gave an uneasy glance back at the ghostly entrance but was relieved to be inside nonetheless. Numbly, she took in her surroundings, a feeling of cold and dark loneliness settling into her chest as she spared the frozen corpse only a cursory glance. How long had the survivors lasted in this place? Did they die of starvation or each other? Another long breath misted out before her face as she turned away from her companions, green eyes flitting from one ash and dust-covered wall to the next. Behind her, Shiress could hear Rohka speaking, reading from a book, a journal perhaps.

Moving across the open space, footsteps carving long lines into the ageless filth beneath her feet, though on second glance wasn't, Shiress could almost feel the chaos and desperation of survival Rohka's words held, the helplessness and defeat. Rohka's voice carried, giving story to each destitute and barren room, empty bed and makeshift pallet that Shiress's gaze wandered over. It was surreal and depressing, this walk through history. She wondered when it would end. If it would ever end.

Something in the last room caught Shiress's gaze, a handle protruding several inches through a thick layer of ash and dust covering the floor. Crossing the threshold, Shiress's gaze roamed over the unmade bed, the wardrobe, noting the familiar robes hung haphazardly inside, before coming to a halt on the handle. Hesitantly, she reached out a hand and placed her fingers against the knob. As she had expected, her touch went straight through. Oddly, however, she could feel cool metal beneath her fingertips, and before she could think better of it, she pulled.

A ghostly hatch door opened, even though Shiress could plainly see that the one she perceived at first was still shut. This wasn't what held her attention, though. It was the several stairs that led into blackness beyond it. Shiress stood, studying the entrance...to what exactly? Any other time, Shiress would have walked away, not caring in the least, but a sudden and intense desire to find out exactly where the stairs led overtook her and had her moving forward.

Placing a steadying hand against the wall, she stepped down, and just as her foot came to rest on the top step, the wall beneath her hand began to tremble. A whirring and clanking noise followed, then one by one lamps embedded within peculiar sconces wavered, flickered, then wooshed to light, illuminating a path down the stairway. Shiress stared, blinking through the sudden brightness, then slowly descended the stairs.

As soon as she stepped off the last step, Shiress found herself inside a room covered with thick dust and cobwebs. Several lamps, similar to those in the stairway, illuminated the chamber, revealing odd drawings on the walls and ceiling and three large circles drawn on the floor. Four rows of shelves lined the wall directly in front of her, and two lined the walls to either side. A desk sat in the middle of the room, and Shiress could make out scrolls, tomes, and journals, a quill, and overturned ink jars. As she moved farther into the room, she could see letters and lines of numbers covering the entire page of one of the open books. Diagrams of animals and human-looking drawings in another, some scratched out, and others circled. A map laid half curled on the corner of the desk.

A longer desk to her right held various tools, some were familiar, like ones Shiress might have seen in a smith's forge, though most were not familiar in the least. Above the desk, arrayed haphazardly along the bottom shelf were what looked like insects, metal insects. Precisely how someone would carve wood, except these were metal, held together with tiny bolts with toothed circles for joints. Most were so covered in dust that Shiress couldn't make out what they were, but she could make out a scorpion and a few spiders about the size of her palm. On the upper shelves were larger creatures. She could see what looked to be an incomplete fox, a broken wolf, and what seemed to be human legs and a hand.

Unable to contain her curiosity any further, Shiress reached out and picked up one of the spiders, retrieving only its ghostly twin. But, within her grasp, she could feel the sharp metal tips of the spider's eight legs and see the ruby glow of its many red eyes. Still holding the ghastly creation between her hands, Shiress continued her exploration, coming to a stop before a lone table set off to the side of the room. In its center rested a black metal box. Its edges looked polished and smooth. On one side of the box, an intricate carving or maybe drawing of a spider, much like the spider she held, drew her attention. Reaching out, Shiress gently traced the edge of the drawing with a fingertip, following along the outline of the spider's bulbous body.

An inhuman growl suddenly echoed through the chamber. Shiress jumped back a foot and spun in the direction the sound had come from. Outside. It sounded as if it had come from outside the shrine. Absently shoving the metal spider into a furlined pocket, Shiress turned and bolted for the stairway and crossed the floor of the shrine at a run. Coming to a stop at the entrance, Shiress gaped, not knowing what to make of the sight before her. After a time of stunned silence, Sevris spoke. She turned to Caspian standing beside her, trembling hand snaking its way into his, before turning her gaze to Rohka "But, we should be safe in here. Right?"

Image
Last edited by Shiress on December 29th, 2019, 3:38 am, edited 3 times in total.
Moonlight drowns out all but the brightest stars

Character sheet
User avatar
Shiress
Every path has a few puddles
 
Posts: 821
Words: 687053
Joined roleplay: January 25th, 2013, 7:01 pm
Location: Syliras
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Medals: 6
Featured Character (1) Featured Thread (2)
Mizahar Grader (1) Overlored (1)
Donor (1)

[Fall 19 Seasonal Quest] Ripple Me This

Postby Caspian on December 28th, 2019, 10:24 pm

Image
    When the howling starts, Caspian whips his head in its direction, and that, and then that, but it is everywhere, a reeling wrench of portentousness that the man they had been observing seems to know the full weight of - yet does not know how to stop.

    And then come the flames.

    With a breath that chokes up in his chest and sticks like pins, he stumbles one way as if he might evade it, falters and ducks as if a difference in altitude could be the thing to save him. It might present itself as a cowardly reaction but it’s better than doing nothing, and he won’t go down without having tried at least something.

    More terrifying than populace of sound and color is its absence. Since being summoned by the Voice he’s been thrown headfirst into all array of tumult and thrash, but this is the first instance of his being confronted with nothing, that nothing facing him down preposterously, immutable. And to stare back into nothing, the ash and the decimated dark, with the air in his lungs holding in still stoppage as if it’s been transfigured into noxious murk -

    In Sunberth a still, stony street is sometimes a sorry sign of slaughter sorted, and at times a spectacular one, setups for sole strides, slips and smirking slinks. The vastness of Avanthal was colored by its blankness, defined by its stillness, and in his case the never ending wind and strum of the musicians of Snowsong Hold. Even out of earshot, in his wanderings past the hold’s gates and the well-trod paths of the hunters and gatherers did the melodies carry through - on the winds were the flutes’ trills warbling high and against the firmaments’ fissures the percussion pressed low. In parallel to the lights snaking across the sky were and are his father’s fiddle in tremulous array, and even without them present were they companions constant.

    So here, beneath a dome that he cannot sense has suffered to dissipation, does he find stillness and silence again - and here does he find it crippling. In Ravok he never has to wander far for some amusement to deaden his senses with its inherent cacophony, and he’s no stranger to his own predilections and means for coping but it articulates itself for him in fuller form in the wake of the Valterrian - that he needs noise to lull him, that he has never been truly alone, that without rabble and rousing it’s only him and his heartbeat and the erasure of a thousand souls he never knew but reaches for far too late.

    When the chill comes creeping through his shoes - it bolts him back to the present, but without the shock it might prove to the rest of the assembly. It approaches him like an old friend, the only fitting pairing to the furs he donned in transfiguration, and later in the Temple with the others. Against his cheeks it begins to nip, the nips turning to bites, and though the gloves his sister bought him are the most fortified Ravok had on offer and are doing what they ought, his digits can sense the cold air surrounding and threatening to permeate, that already lightly seize his joints.

    “We shouldn’t linger,” he says softly - the first time, maybe, he’s addressed the group as a whole, though at a slant - and turns towards the Shrine that somehow still stands. It doesn’t escape his notice when the Lazarin braces himself against the cold, and he stifles his own derisive snort on musing that the dark officer is flesh and blood after all.

    The interior of the Shrine is barren, seeming to have suffered years’ worth of dilapidation. It’s a bleak departure from the sunny scene that they’d been treated to just moments before, and he doesn’t understand how and why they’ve seen what they have. Not knowing how all the pieces might tessellate together, coupled with realizing the unquantifiable number of pieces he has yet to encounter and how they might reconfigure the shufflings that came before - it frightens him, that he can’t see the way this might end.

    Is Rohka frightened? She’d wanted to plunge headfirst into the portal and had only been slowed by his plaintive hand.

    It’s faith, what separates the two of them. Of and in faith she’s steeped, faith bound to trust and trust founded on her beliefs. Could he find the faith to shut his eyes too, take the paths through which Rhysol even in his absence leads, and open them again to the bright new world waiting for him on the other side?

    With everything here so still, beneath an immutable layer of mourning, he feels some of his edge relent. There doesn’t seem to be anything living here save for him and his fellow trespassers, and with guarded curiosity he stalks his own way through, giving wide berth to the kneeling corpse.

    There’s a storage room in the back that on trained habit he peers through, but any stock has since been cleared. Another room appears to be living quarters, perhaps once belonging to the frozen figure in perpetual prostration. In his own act of genuflection he kneels to inspect a chest at the foot of the corpse’s bed. As matter of habit he twiddles with the lock with only a blink in penance, this being for him matter-of-fact - tries to twiddle with the lock, that is, because as if he’s merely an apparition, his hands pass right through.

    With an exclamation in confusion and dismay, he springs back to his feet, nearly springs a second time when he steps on something he hadn’t noticed on the floor before.

    Standing before him suddenly is a dog, majestic and glossed and waist-high. Hauk’s dog hadn’t indicated it had sensed another animal on the premises, and surely it would have - unless, quips the unhelpful little onlooker in the back of his mind, the whole act was just for show. And though he’s plenty of distraction, newness and bafflement their own obstacles, it’s rather simply impossible that an entire dog would have escaped his notice, in both its progression of approach or in having just been there all along.

    In the pursuit of faith, in having faith in himself that it might be an entity more intrinsic than he gives it credit, he finds himself kneeling again, extending his hand to it, though he has nothing to offer.

    ”Charl,” he calls, startling himself with having somehow known what must be the dog’s name.

    He’s no great love for them but he feels drawn to this one, to the stark contrast of its vivaciousness to the crumbling and the dust, all of which its fur seems to slough. The dog inclines towards him, nose first as a dog even of its royal bearing might - and upon closing the distance, a hair’s breath away from Caspian’s outstretched hand, it suddenly succumbs to the decay that surrounds them, fur growing sparse and matted in the patches that remain. Its hide draws close against its ribs, its stomach shrinking and its skeleton curling to gauntness’ silhouette.

    Is it the corpse’s dog, in the corpse’s room? Had it outlived its master, watched him dwindle, observed the demise of all, until there was no one left to extend a hand - and finally did it, then, too, having provided the extent of its unconditional love, find the last of its own will ebbed away?

    Only now does it occur to him to wonder if he’s the only one who can see Charl. Would they treat his addressing something invisible while crouched the same way you’d wave off a lout at a tavern who’s had one too many? Or would they regard him with astonishment, from this moment with guarded hesitation?

    The latter banks on their not encountering their own phantoms in concurrence, and further on their somehow gauging Caspian’s display as exceeding everything they’ve witnessed to date, which he finds incredibly unlikely.

    A horrible wailing, succeeded by a bone-chilling second, brings him to the present. The first howl bore the barest of kinship to the dog that’s appeared before him - but it had held a savagery that not even in Charl’s prime would it have ever embodied.

    “Stay,” he says to Charl, as if he might keep it out of harm’s way, as if harm would not inevitably have its way here; as if the emaciated memory could do any more than that.

    At the Shrine’s entrance are Shiress and the Lazarin. Caspian follows their line of sight, and upon spotting the ghastly being on the frozen lake chokes out an exclamation, drawing himself up to Shiress’ side. As if he might finally be some use to anyone, as if he were more than pinpricks for knives and subterfuge and silent step. As if futility hasn’t yet been created and he might finally repay the eternal debt to her which he owes.

    Not far from the heaving nightmare is a wolf, larger than he’s ever seen, fit for tall tales and his flights of imagination as a Talderian child.

    A day comes back to him unbidden, one he’s not sure how he’s managed to forget - but once he had followed his mother away from the Hold, through the baring thickets and snowy dales. There was a certain tuber they had set out to find, dry, and grind, meant for a poultice for an ailment afflicting his father. The ailment was minor, the weather fair, and his mother in one of her saturnine moods, but she was at least up and out and with him, and that was all that mattered. They had gathered a fair amount of the tuber owing to his mother taking on her fox’s form, the better to rummage and excavate - and suddenly, on the wind and through the rushes came sensings that put Kharis on edge. A great wolf came from between the woods, observing the both of them silently, stoically, its fur a silver to outblaze the moon, and its eyes two rounded orbs of pitch. Out of her inherent premonition, his mother had already put herself between him and harm’s way, and for a long beat the three of them regarded each other in immobility, in silence.

    Until Kharis took another step forward, scrutinized the wolf mirroring the action, and suddenly began to laugh. It had been a laugh; he’s sure if it, a series of hysteric yips and high-pitched snarls right in the face of something that could have destroyed them in an instant.

    But it had only walked away, as good, to the both of them, as if it had been slain.

    Could he ever be like his mother, the likeness of her face pinned to his cloak now, and throw himself against the wilds?

    There’s no place for laughter in him now, though, save for what bubbles up in him at the preposterousness of it all, which he manages to suppress to a heavy huff.

    “You have a plan beyond that,” Caspian says to the Lazarin, more downtone than question, more panicked than he wants to admit, and he’d only blurted out the vagary as a result.
    Image
    x


    Boxcode credit: Antipodes
    Last edited by Caspian on January 1st, 2020, 10:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
    User avatar
    Caspian
    Player
     
    Posts: 366
    Words: 479526
    Joined roleplay: August 12th, 2018, 11:26 pm
    Location: Zeltiva
    Race: Human, Mixed
    Character sheet
    Storyteller secrets
    Medals: 2
    Featured Thread (2)

    [Fall 19 Seasonal Quest] Ripple Me This

    Postby Rohka on December 29th, 2019, 3:19 am

    ”But, we should be safe in here. Right?” asked Shiress.

    “We should. We were told we would be safe, by Rhysol himself. So,” the sybil turned to look into the woman’s stunned gaze, finding the spark of courage she knew would be within her. Shiress had always shown strength in those emerald orbs, ever since she’d seen her the first time they’d met at The Mystic Eye.

    Rohka figured it was only right to assure her friend, despite not remembering the exact words the Lord had given them. It had certainly felt to her like their God had granted them with his protection, as he always had, within his power. There was no sense in losing that belief in Him. It seemed Hollis knew that too, having seen her shielding and keeping watch of Shiress earlier. Besides, it was through this belief that she’d built her own skill in fortune telling.

    “There was a beast, wasn’t there? In the past?”

    Rohka directed her question at Shiress, referencing their very first reading together, in which she vividly remembered the picture in her mind of a great big terror stopping the then-slave from the joys of a child and from the freedom of growth. It was surreal to see not one but two kinds of fearsome hideousness before them now.

    Time had become a form of madness here. In one moment, serenity. In just another, incineration. And now…

    Monstrosities.

    Rohka gripped the tooth around her neck with one hand and steeled her gaze upon the creatures out past the shrine doors.

    “I hope you found something to help us figure out the true nature of this place, luv. Come with me,” said the sybil, her face scrunched up in a mix of disgust and forced grit. The look was almost comical on the young Calico’s face, her brisk ask coming from a gentle yet cold voice. There was a rage still boiling through the threads of her being. Despite the chill of the air within the shrine, that roaring fire was seared into her, completely. It was the very same rage that had coursed through her veins when they’d experienced the shift. The Valterrian.

    We are here before the Valterrian, thought Rohka, right after Sevris gave her detailed answers about the robed man and heard murmurs from the group. They’d gone back in time, back before the described cataclysm. But how far back, she wondered, not realizing that they were right on the cusp. The sybil had then turned to the team and told them about shape and size of the barrier, her hands gesturing and tapping at the sides of the dome while describing the fact that she’d used some djed to see it, a form of magic called Auristics, in case anyone was curious. Rohka wanted them to know that she only wished to help them all help their God find out every bit of truth that they could glean from the moments within this space of time. She showed them with incredulity how the small rock vanished and returned to its spot, repeating the motion so that others could see exactly how the manipulation did nothing to change the environment. It was indeed a strong and powerful enclosure within an eerily serene little world.

    Such a world changed with a cry. A strong, deep, desperate mourning filled the air right before the fire. Rohka remembered falling to the mysteriously unchanging ground amongst the trembling and thunderous booming, unable to keep balanced. She tried to grip the earth for some form of stability but it was too late. She even remembered a brief moment where she felt like they were just done. Like something went wrong. Like her life would soon be snuffed out like a candle and lit back up another night.

    But in fact, nothing was wrong. They were all still alive.

    It was Caspian that the sybil had called out to talk to, hoping that the young man wouldn’t mind letting her spill words to make sense and nonsense during the bell before things changed again.

    “What does it say about me that I thought of no one and nothing before that… that…,” she couldn’t quite describe what they’d witnessed yet. It was being processed. “It felt too real. But it felt empty all the same. Those people, all gone. But we’re here. We’re still here, Cas.”

    It was at that moment the she began to tear up. Any word from Caspian would bring her to sob at that point, but a hold, a gesture, a reassuring silence would have kept her steady. Venting was a part of what the sybil needed to do in order to process her feelings. It was something everyone close to her knew, but Rohka barely ever recognized. The sobbing would be healthy. The silence would bury it all.

    And it was in fact silence that remained, until…

    ”We shouldn’t linger,” he said.

    Tears flowed down her cheeks while breaths were taken in and out, helping herself prevent the sack of dead weight from forming within the acid of her stomach… the stomach that now turned at the sight of grotesque horror. Should they be lingering now? In this moment before these creatures?

    ”Whatever that is and its pet. We’d best be dealing with them inside the shrine should they mean us harm,” said the Lazarin.

    Caspian quickly retorted. ”You have a plan beyond that?”

    The panic in his voice lurched her heart towards him, her feet itching to move closer over to join at the sides of her teammates. He was right, they needed more of a plan. Rohka took a look around at their surroundings, from the point where she was standing. Just moments earlier, while the others had went their ways to explore doors and echoes of the past, she’d placed her pack down on the ground and had taken out her journal, along with a quill and ink, and had gone to work recording as much of the pieces she read aloud to the group into her own blank one. Wild, it was, to feel like her perspective was changing in every tick within these walls. Yet in some ways, there was a familiarity. Having a family sent away to rebuild a world… children, connected to a man and woman that served a greater purpose. A similar story to the Calicos, in fact.

    Rohka hoped they all found a good life too.

    “The plan is to live, folks,” said the sybil, reaching into her pack for her cards. She blinked a few times when she saw them. They were pristine, newer-looking than she’d ever seen it before. Rohka shook her head and shuffled them quickly, not taking any time to ponder the magic of their state, taking out two cards to inform her of the best method available to them. Out first came a card speaking of charity, generosity, and showing gratitude for what has been received. There was a call to pay attention to how djed and resources are used, along with how one gives and takes within a relationship. There was a focus here on giving. The second card was one purely screaming the act of letting go and moving on. It was a retreat, a time to contemplate, to leave behind hopes and dreams. A sense of disappointment came through as well, and there was a hint of something else… something more sinister about this travel… one she couldn’t place.

    “The cards have said their piece, I choose to reach out to these creatures. Let’s offer them something to leave us alone, perhaps.”

    Fear still remained in the back of the sybil’s mind as she looked towards the gargantuan wolf. Rohka reached for her dagger almost subconsciously pulling it out to protect herself… and out came a bone. The sybil squinted at it, realizing that she intended to offer food of some sort. She hastily reached into her pack at brought out the rations they’d packed, hoping it was something the creatures would like to consume more than living beings within these long deadened walls.

    It felt entirely insane to be doing this. Providing sustenance to monsters that show up out of the blue? They hadn’t attacked yet, after all. And there had been a laugh, a guttural one, so there must’ve been some form of amusement.

    And besides… Rhysol wanted answers. These creatures were the first beings to show up since seeing the divine. She needed them to provide more information. This action was purely for purposes in line with extending their means to figure out what they needed to know. If the creatures chose violence—as monsters may always be expected to do—so be it. At least they could fight knowing they’d tried to reason with the filthy souls first.

    Rohka picked up as much as she could in her hands and even asked for help from those in the group that would trust her. She called out to Hauk, the hunter, someone who would know more about preparing foods and being watchful of potential traps. She then walked over to the entrance of the shrine and stood by the edge, still inside. holding the bone in one hand.

    “Hey, you there! Can we offer you and your wolf something to eat or drink? We’re here to look around, that’s all. We’re trying to find some answers,” shouted Rohka, her voice shaking in obvious fear. She felt mad. Absolutely bonkers. But there was no use standing around waiting for the creatures to make the first move, was there?
    Most active on weekends.
    User avatar
    Rohka
    So?
     
    Posts: 345
    Words: 366352
    Joined roleplay: May 24th, 2013, 5:28 pm
    Location: Zeltiva
    Race: Human
    Character sheet
    Storyteller secrets
    Journal
    Plotnotes
    Medals: 1
    Mizahar Grader (1)

    [Fall 19 Seasonal Quest] Ripple Me This

    Postby Hauk Tarn on December 29th, 2019, 3:42 am

    Image
    Everything seemd as if a dream. The people walked right through members of the group, none the wiser to their prensence. The world itself seemed as if it did not recognize their presence. They were observers, of what though, would take moments to find out.

    The world screamed. The sky turned dark, and a wall of flame arose from the distance, wreathing in pain and anger. As the wall came forward, the people of the village ran in terror. Fen whined and barked in fear, trying to warn his master that they needed to run as well. The dog did not understand what was happneing. Hauk, transfixed as the living flame approuched, unable to move from his spot, did. They were witnissing the end of the world. The Valterian.

    Hauks instincts told him that he should run, however they also told him that no matter where he ran to he could not outrun what was coming. The ground shook, threatening to swollow them whole. The air roared, a rage so pure it threatened to destroy everything. The heat rose as the wall of flame neared, until finally it reached the lake shore where the shrine was located. The world went bright, the tongies of flame licking at the hunters body yet he did not feel the searing pain he was expecting. The heat was there, but it was no stronger stadning clsoe to large campfire. For what seemed like eternity, all there was, was flame.

    Just as quickly as it had arrived, the wall of pain and suffering moved on, leaving a dark, burned and muted world. Hauk was unsure how long he stood there. A tick. A bell. He could not tell. it wasn't until that he felt Fens nuzzle up against the back of his leg that he retruned to the world. What he saw was a new place. The remnants of where tehy had emerged from the portals was thier, in the details, but the world had changed. Several members of the group where heading towards the shrine, passing though a silvery ghost of a door, all the whole the wooden frame remained unmoved.

    Inside looked desolate. there were clear signs of habitation, perhaps survivors of the great clataclysm, but if they still lived, it was not here. Hauk bent down, brushing his fingers against a piece of wood, leaving traces along the dust. As he did images flooded his mind. This was a pew once. People had used these tools of worship and had repurposed them for survival. Beds were made. Fire were lit. Food that appeared out of know where was eated, all the while the caretaker, using what power he had, looked over those that remained.

    "They fought for thier survival." the Hunter said, to no one in particular. "no matter what, they did not give up."

    He crouched their for a moment, pondering these memories and their meaning, until he heard a soft grumbling. Fen was growling, and Hauk, his instincts kicking in, raised his bow.

    Off in the distance a figure stood. the most Grotesque version of man; skin boils, scales, rolls of fat and wicked smile full of sharp teath and a gaze that knew nothing but hunger. Next to this beast, stood the largest wolf Hauk had ever seen, Larger than a direwolf, this beast dwarfed its canine kin. We are cornered inside the shrine Hauk thought.

    No sooner had the thought passed his mind that the soldier, Sevris if he recalled correctly stated that they should stay inside.

    "I think thats a bad idea. Their size gives them an advantague in here, gives us no room to move." he replied. "Outside we have a better chance of fighting., and surviving."
    Image
    User avatar
    Hauk Tarn
    Player
     
    Posts: 48
    Words: 33739
    Joined roleplay: September 30th, 2018, 5:15 pm
    Race: Human
    Character sheet
    Plotnotes

    [Fall 19 Seasonal Quest] Ripple Me This

    Postby Gillar on December 31st, 2019, 6:44 am

    Image

    As the group gathered near the entrance to the Shrine, peering out to the frigid wastes beyond, two things quickly became clear almost at once. First and foremost, the mountainous mass of filth on two legs and the giant wolf, were not friends. The echoing howl of the wolf, answered by the dry laughter of the tower of obesity was followed by an obvious face-off. As the two stood several yards from one another, the wolf began to carefully circle the goliath. At the same time, attempts at getting their attention appeared to fall flat as neither seemed to notice anyone in the direction of the Shrine.

    In a deep, echoed voice that sounded like someone who had drank and smoked way too much in their lives, the goliath antagonized the wolf, "Took you long enough to find me, Aasim. You tiny gods...fancy yourself all powerful yet it took you how many years to finally track me down? Now what? You think you can dispatch me? Others more powerful than you have tried, whelp.

    The wolf, Aasim, continued to circle with calculated movements; always keeping the same distance between itself and the goliath. Then, perhaps coming as something of a surprise to those listening from within the Shrine, the wolf answered, "It ends here Glorg. You've been a blight upon this world for far too long."

    "Strong words from but a child. I will enjoy feasting upon your entrails." The goliath, apparently named, Glorg, retorted with a massive, grotesque smirk.

    It was then that another howl could be heard nearby, followed by another and yet another. Those looking upon the scene would see, three forms step into sight, several yards away from Glorg yet effectively surrounding him. Wolves. Not just any wolves however; although much smaller than the one called, Aasim, the three were large even for Talderian wolves. Their colors were much like Aasim's with deep gray and brilliant silver in varying patterns.

    "I see you learned from our last encounter and brought some help. Just more for me to eat!" Glorg opened his mouth and unleashed a horrendous roar. The roar, although chilling, was nothing compared to the sight of him opening his mouth obscenely wide. His open maw looked as though it could swallow a person whole. A huge, thick, long tongue hung out to the side as he shouted.

    At the roar, the pack jumped to action. They moved in a way that almost looked they acted as one being. Every step, every hop and slide appeared coordinated so perfectly that it was almost unnatural. The wolves would dart in and snap at Glorg's massive legs, quickly dodging the goliath's surprisingly fast, massive swings of his fists. Aasim, for his part, waited for Glorg's attention to turn to one of the other wolves before he would charge forth and go for a vital part of the goliath's body. The obvious problem however was that Glorg was so massive, so morbidly obese, that any attack against him only tore into putrid flesh and fat.

    The fight continued for quite some time with Glorg scoring a couple of solid blows against the pack; one against one of the smaller wolves that sent it sliding across the ice and forcing it to fall back from injury. The second was against Aasim. As the great wolf charged Glorg and latched on to his bloated throat, Glorg unleashed a barrage of punches powered by his tree-trunk sized arms. Unable to hold on against the onslaught, Aasim let go and fell back.

    As Aasim and the two remaining wolves, showing signs of fatigue, took a defensive pattern, maintaining their distance and keeping Glorg's attention broken, Glorg seemed to be growing tired as well. He was covered in countless bite and claw wounds, while not crippling, were obviously causing him pain.

    With more than a hint of labored breathing, Glorg croaked, "I'll give you this, little dog, you've given me quite the challenge but it's time this ended." With that, Glorg raised a massive leg and slammed it upon the ice beneath him sending a huge fissure that split the ice on its way toward Aasim. The ice cracked and splintered almost instantly as it sped toward Aassim with Glorg, again moving with surprising speed, sliding away from it and rushing off into the distance, laughing the entire way. The other two wolves watched helplessly as the ice surrounding Aasim broke all around him quickly swallowing him. Before he fell, the group in the Shrine noticed his head ever so briefly turn toward them. The ice then settled and began to reform with Aasim appearing to be lost to the icy depths. The two wolves, howled in frustration and when they realized there was nothing they could do, reluctantly left the area.

    The group was then left with roughly a bell's worth of time to process what they had just seen.

    Then, as had happened a couple of times already, they were surrounded by running water; their senses numbed. As before, the experience ended an unknown amount of time later. They were still standing in the Shrine but a quick glance around revealed that more time had passed. A LOT more time. Where the caretaker's body knelt before the shard lay the decayed body of the Caretaker; the surrounding cold having slowed the body's decomposition making it hard to tell just how much time had passed. The feeling each of the group had, a feeling they couldn't describe, told them that it had been centuries. The shard in the center of the Shrine was dark, solid black and lacking the internal glow they had seen before.

    Another surprise was that they could actually feel and touch their surroundings with but an odd tickle that spread throughout their body every time they touched or moved something. There was no invisible barrier to bar passage and all of the objects of interest they had encountered before were now solid and able to be manipulated.

    If anyone were to take a look outside, they would feel that the icy cold air had warmed a bit. There were scatterings of shrubs here and there with small patches of grass breaking up the otherwise barren rock. Syna was slowly setting while Leth was rising. However, as Leth rose, he was shrouded in red; it was what the Ravokians had come to know as The Hunter's Moon. It was mid-Spring, 519 AV with roughly three bells left until the Hunter's Moon reached it's highest point in the sky. Three bells before those in Ravok would awake to a howl that could be heard no matter where one was in the city. Three bells before the animals in the city went wild. Three bells until something big would happen.
    User avatar
    Gillar
    Forging the World
     
    Posts: 1367
    Words: 1258969
    Joined roleplay: March 23rd, 2009, 6:44 pm
    Race: Isur
    Office
    Medals: 1
    Featured Contributor (1)

    [Fall 19 Seasonal Quest] Ripple Me This

    Postby Sevris on January 6th, 2020, 4:20 am

    The group had been taken aback by the sudden appearance of the giant monster humanoid and the giant wolf. The Lazarin had declared that he would protect them. Caspian retorted with a panicked question. "The plan is to survive." Sevris answered. He had no intention of failing this mission despite the odds. Hauk had an idea to bring the fight outside. To which Sevris was going to disagree with. They would be picked apart easily by the giant wolf. "That wolf can outrun us within seconds, the monster I'm sure can as well. They are to large to enter the shrine."

    He was aware of some tactics in his time as a Paladin and he was used to leading. But to their surprise and luck, they were not paying them the least bit of attention. They were however, witnessing a dangerous encounter between the two. The monster bellowed out that the wolf had finally found him.

    Even stranger, the wolf responded to it. They were enemies, as the monster referred to them as gods who were hunting him. The wolf was indeed circling it, and it had a deep and intimidating voice. Calling the monstrosity 'Glorg'. Sevris felt like the name should mean something to him, but he couldn't place it. They exchanged more insults and threats and they learned the identity of the wolf, Aasim.

    Then those in the shrine were able to hear howl in the distance. Followed by two more distinct howls. Within their sights, Sevris was able to see three smaller wolves surround Glorg. It was a good thing they didn't go outside as this would pose a deadly problem to their non-combat party members.

    It was interesting listening to the conversation between Aasim and Glorg. But it wa all banter before an epic battle. The pack of wolves began circle Glorg who relished at the challenge. Sevris respected the monstrosity despite his disgusting appearance. It seemed he had defeated the giant wolf before, and Aasim came back with reinforcement.

    Then all of a sudden the Glorg let out a ferocious roar, and the pack suddenly attacked. They battled fiercely, they moved at such speeds that it bred some fear into Sevris. The group could only watch in horror, and hope the battle stays away from the shrine.

    The battle of the giants took place, Glorg laying devastating blows against the wolves. Aasim being patient and attacking strategically. However after a while of fighting, they were all badly injured from the fighting. And the signs of fatigue and weariness was beginning to show, even on the beast Glorg and Aasim and his wolves.

    It seemed Glorg had had enough. He lifted his massive leg and stomped it in the direction of Aasim. A chasm opened up breaking the ice towards Aasim. The dire wolf was caught off guard and he fell into the freezing cold waters. Glorg laughed and made his escape, while the wolves tried to save their leader.

    Aasim took one fleeting look towards them, and Sevris's heart skipped a beat. Then he plummeted into the depths of the lake. The wolves did not pursue Glorg but waited to see if there was something they could do. There was not. Realizing their defeat, they scuttled off into the distance.

    Sevris was left with an impression that someone was showing them these past events. Like how they had witnessed the Valterrian. This power was unlike anything he had ever heard of seen before. He was left speechless by the battle. These were past events. As if in order to prove that theory, they were transported once more. They moved through the murky waters and appeared suddenly at the shrine again.

    This time it was obvious that a significant amount of time had passed. The body next to the shard had decomposed even more, the cold keeping it from disappearing completely. But centuries had passed it seemed. "Another past even it seems." Sevris said to the others. "Rhysol was right, we were never in any harm. But what we have seen till now is the work of someone very powerful. To manipulate our very presence. What are they trying to show us?" These were general questions to the group. As Sevris was just as confused by the memories they had seen.

    The Lazarin walked to the Shard, it had lost its glow that it had had before. He touched it, and he was actually able to touch it. It felt cold and the power it had and dissipated over the centuries. It seemed they were really there this time. This made Sevris look outside. The sun was about to set, and the moon would quickly rise.

    The moon however was shrouded in red. This meant something to a local Ravokian. "The Hunters Moon is upon us. We seem to be in the present." Sevris walked outside, the biting cold had warmed. But he could feel something unnerving about it all. They were not shown those events for nothing. He looked back, at the group. Together they would have to handle what was coming next. Rhysol had trusted him to do so.

    He would never betray that trust.
    User avatar
    Sevris
    Loyal Soldier
     
    Posts: 307
    Words: 180445
    Joined roleplay: July 24th, 2012, 5:26 pm
    Race: Human
    Character sheet
    Storyteller secrets
    Medals: 1
    Trailblazer (1)

    [Fall 19 Seasonal Quest] Ripple Me This

    Postby Caspian on January 7th, 2020, 2:00 am

    Image
      Whatever he had meant to do - whether he had meant to do anything to begin with - he certainly had not meant to make Rohka cry. At least it seems that way to him, the sequence of input and output, input being he had said something that was perhaps the wrong thing, and output manifesting in that she had burst following his doing so. It’s lousy, what he’s just done, and makes him feel low because it had been low of him to do, no matter the absence of intent, made all the worse by an audience being privy to the lot of it. He’s thankful for Shiress’ hand in his now, as if she’s already forgiven him for the sorry scene he’s caused.

      But because it’s Rohka, she’s moved on with chin held high, foregone her proverbial step back in favor of taking some forward - several too far forward, in his humble and intact livelihood-oriented opinion.

      “Rohka, don’t -“ he hisses, drawing away from Shiress to gape at the sybil who would, out of a preposterously irrevocable and splendidly inherent magnanimity, offer evil manifest lunch. It’s not like he takes any satisfaction out of telling her what to do, far from it and especially not after having been so publicly a right scoundrel - and he adores her heart, he really does, she makes him want to do more and be more without expecting anything in return and he’ll wonder always what she sees in him to allow him so within her effulgent orbit. But all that’s to be defenestrated with the bath water when there’s a walking nightmare named Glorg involved who could easily decide, were he feeling peckish after all, that the scrawny set of invaders at the Shrine are likely choicer pickings than Aasim and his snarling tribe.

      The dueling parties, however, don’t appear to have noticed a thing.

      If the plan is to survive, as appears to be the general consensus -

      On instinct and perhaps to some future detriment, he finds himself gripping the swirled Obfuscate dagger at his side as he gazes out at the match with revulsion. The weapon’s magical properties allow for some visual obscuration of his form to outsiders when wielded - an ability he’d much rather keep on a need-to-know basis just on principle, no matter the intended level of intimacy he may have with the rest of the group. Whether anyone notices, and past that, whether anyone cares - as he’d reflected just moments before in the Shrine, his momentary vanishing act is hardly the most shocking thing they’ve encountered. And it’s only fair that he assumes each member of the party has their own little trick up their sleeve that they’re keeping wisely to themselves.

      The wolves are truly something to behold. They are the winter, havoc and gusts on the most fleet of feet. As a child he’d both feared and admired Talderian wolves from afar, discovered with mischievous mirth as so many young musicians do that if he drew his bow across a string on his violin with a long, slow stroke, lay a finger on his other hand down and slid up and down the pitches in tandem, he could mimic a howling, even a yowling the faster he zipped. Over the snowy dunes of Avanthal with the moon risen high, the cries of a pack falling upon its prey could be heard on the wind, even from leagues away, and on his violin he would answer. When the baying was wild it was easy to imagine they continued their reciprocation, that he in boyish raucousness might be one of them, and eking and fiddling he went, until one of the washerwomen swatted him with their scarves, or his father packed him off to bed with a single scold.

      It’s easy to believe who the heroes and villains are, or at least the villain, though from the perspectives of the beasts themselves it’s possible this is something else entirely. Just as he’s sure the death stroke is inevitable, perhaps because he’s being reminded once more of the indiscriminate savagery of winter, of the brutal rigidity of snarls and ice -

      Aasim falls.

      The destruction of countless lives to the Valterrian, and the silence that followed - the sight had no rival in the sweeping sense of desolation it had caused him, but this, the abrupt loss of a being to a jagged abyss, that being who had turned their countenance towards them with angularities and enigmas not unlike his late mother’s -

      The other wolves disperse; Glorg has long since taken his leave.

      The land is still and stark and Caspian, in numbness, takes some half-dozen stilted paces away from the group, to the side of the Shrine’s entrance, and sinks to the ground. From his pack he retrieves his pipe, flint, and striker, and he’s the one lingering now when perhaps one ought not to, but it’s all gone quiet again, too quiet to bear, and no matter how sharply he draws breath or expels smoke, it will never be enough.

      The contents of the pipe are burned through; he stares out at the wastes, and packs it again. When his fingertips protest being subjected to the biting cold he resists the urge to replenish and light another, and retreats back into the Shrine, arms folded across his chest with his gaze trained on no particular facet of the Shard. It offers no answers and he in a haze of restlessness wanders back through the halls, into the pantry and the chambers where he’d passed before.

      Would the memory of Charl really have stayed as he’d asked?

      An odd sensation comes over him, as if he’s engulfed underwater and his perspicacities muddled, and when he emerges from its stupor he feels that -

      Yes. They have all certainly once more been taken far and away.

      Things feel more - corporeal, now, if he scrutinizes his surroundings. The chest at the foot of the bed he’d tried to mangle his way into before certainly does -

      Heart hammering in his own, he kneels before the article that now seems tangible, is corporeal to the utmost. If it’s real, now, if it’s surpassed the liminal space in which he’d found it and in which Rhysol and his Voice had dropped them - he, maybe, is a little real again too.

      Strewn about with the rest of rubble and dust are scraps and splinters, tatters and tears, and a silver pin he plucks from the lot and rids of dust with a gusty exhale. The flecks brushing his fingertips, the inevitable blowback of strays ebbing against his brow, even his knees against the worn rug atop the cracked stone floors, its woven design ebbed away by time - all of it speaks to their having been spirited to another time and place, hopefully one far more familiar than the last. Fingers still cramped from the biting cold that had once been, he unknots the top latch of his many-tiered cloak in response to the conspicuously less frigid climate.

      The pin now in his possession, he studies the lock in the chest in contemplative silence.

      He’s seen this done before, countless times, tried it himself with mixed result, and only under severe supervision and berating has he ever accomplished what he was ought. There is nothing left to lose here, not when everything has already been lost - so with jaw held tightly he fiddles with the pin within the lock, withdraws it swiftly to crimp and fiddles again. The bracers given to him by the Voice are growing warm against his forearms, warmer than even the flush of temperature could reasonably make them. And just when he’s quite ready to sit back on his haunched and offer any onlookers an apologetic shrug and complementary quip -

      His ministrations appear to have caused the lock to give way.

      With a flourish, he throws open the lid.
      Image
      x


      Boxcode credit: Antipodes
      Last edited by Caspian on January 22nd, 2020, 4:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
      User avatar
      Caspian
      Player
       
      Posts: 366
      Words: 479526
      Joined roleplay: August 12th, 2018, 11:26 pm
      Location: Zeltiva
      Race: Human, Mixed
      Character sheet
      Storyteller secrets
      Medals: 2
      Featured Thread (2)

      [Fall 19 Seasonal Quest] Ripple Me This

      Postby Rohka on January 13th, 2020, 7:55 am

      Aasim. Glorg. ‘Tiny gods’, said the fat one. A ‘blight’, said the canine. A repeat meeting.

      A battle ending. Drowned.

      “They couldn’t hear me,” whispered Rohka, the rations dropped, her dagger now sheathed. She said it as if that was what mattered, as if her voiced observation could somehow change anything about what they had just seen. It had been brutal, a battle unlike anything she’d ever imagined. She’d watched it transfixed and unsure of who to root for, all the while keeping her hand unconsciously gripped to the handle of the mirror, watching every moment of the fight play out in order to be able to record it in her journal later. This had to be shared with Rhysol and The Voice. Would they be happy with what happened here? Or upset?

      “What reality were these beings reflections of?” asked Rohka aloud, echoing the words of the Caretaker in his meditations. If the Goliath and the wolf were at all divine, as implied by the taunts, what were the people creating in this period of time?

      “Monsters,” said the sybil, shaking her head, bringing her palms up to cover her face. …I was a monster. Murder, lies and betrayal were what I knew. They are what kept me alive those hundreds of years ago. The Caretaker came to such a judgement after much self-reflection and inner turmoil. Perhaps there were others who behaved similarly, and stayed alive for the same reasons.

      Rohka turned to the group, rubbing her eyes, almost as if she was waking up from watching a nightmare. “I’m sorry,” she started, casting a glance over to Caspian who was now sitting and smoking his pipe. She then looked down to the ground, arms crossed and hugging herself tighter. The sybil felt somewhat embarrassed, having been unable to see that her continued actions were having no effect on the scenes and the deaths that unfolded before them. She knew that it was rash of her follow her first instinct, but she tended to trust it, and it tended to work in her favour in almost every situation she’d been in. She even knew that she’d ignored the hissed warning that Cas tried to give, and she swallowed the lump in her throat that formed when beginning to question whether the young man still trusted her, after that tiny debacle.

      But the apology stemmed more from being unable to figure out what Rhysol wanted from them.

      ”Another past event it seems,” said the Lazarin. Rohka nodded. He continued by defending Rhysol just as the sybil had assured Shiress, and then posed the question she was furiously wondering as well.

      “I wish I knew. Did anyone else feel like Aasim looked towards us before he fell through?” asked Rohka, softly. “I still don’t see what the cause of the awakening would have been, or what’s causing the issues with the animals.” She was trying desperately to piece the puzzle together, but the logic of things were still disconnected.

      “Did Aasim have anything to do with it, do you think? That wolf called the other one a blight on the world. But that gross thing, Glorg he called it,” she paused, looking out at the now covered ice. “Glorg was being hunted for years. Why was Glorg a target by so many? By ‘tiny gods’, he said.” Rohka gestured air quotes. It was clear that the words affected her. She didn’t understand why the difference in power existed between gods, if such was the case.

      “Glorg called Aasim a child.” At this, Rohka scratched her brow, curious about the choice of words. It could have easily been just an insult. But it made her pause, remembering the condition set by Rhysol when offering his hand to the little girl:

      I am not the source of all the bad things people do in this world; I am a reflection of it. As such, I can teach you to understand those things and never let them harm you again. All you need to do is take my hand.

      “A child took Rhysol’s hand and became a divine being of strength. It seemed Aasim would have needed Rhysol’s help here, to truly understand whatever it was that this Glorg was conducting upon the world. Only then, could the wolf have been saved,” said Rohka, resolutely. There was no changing her mind here, she believed she was right, based in her faith upon the Lord.

      She tried to reach for her cards again, and brought them up against her chest, holding them close, wondering about their mission while walking silently back towards her journal she left on the Caretaker’s desk. She saw Sevris approach the shard and she bowed towards the solid black, respecting the divine power that was seemingly dormant within it.

      The sybil then followed Caspian into the Caretaker’s chambers.

      She would slowly come up behind him and watch as he picked the lock, impressed by the ability of the gifted bracer to open it. She would then marvel at whatever would be inside and offer a smile, albeit apologetic, to the young man who knew both the thrills and the fears she would be dealing with in this very moment.

      “Cas,” she began, tucking a lock of hair behind her ear. “I don’t want to make the wrong choice.” She gently pointed to the mirror tucked into her belt. “And I don’t want to fail our mission.” What did she want, then? The sybil found her eyes beginning to water again and she looked away, gently taking steps towards the desk and sitting down on the old wooden chair.

      “I want to live through this, whatever this is, and I want to live to tell the tale of it. I want the world to know that they, too, can become stronger, better people through Rhysol’s teachings. It’s been such a blessing to learn of so much in what feels like a constantly shifting flow of time. I’m so scared of making a mistake and somehow changing the past or the future for the worse, but I know I won’t learn much of anything about how good, evil, truth and lies are all connected if I don’t take action. I guess,” she paused, opening her journal to a fresh page. “I say all of this to you because I know I need help in this. I know you already agreed to help Rhysol, but,” she paused again, turning her warm gaze towards him, watching for his emotions this time instead of being consumed by her own.

      “Will you trust me?”

      It felt only right to ask. Their relationship thus far, as much as she’d yearned to understand it deeper and more fully, had been so full of shared subtext that she knew she needed to ask this one thing openly. Selfishly.

      It wasn’t as if her questioning was all that private. If any in their group had chosen to listen in and overhear her words or their conversation, Rohka would glance at them too and wonder the same from the others. At Caspian’s answer, she would respond and then continue to write out what they had witnessed into her journal, along with other excerpts of interest from the Caretaker’s thoughts.

      After a bell or so of writing, Rohka got up to look around once more and saw the worn and tattered white robes hemmed in black. The sybil had never worn robes of such kind before. It intrigued her, so she touched the fabric of it, almost entranced. Now that it was slightly warmer, the sybil removed her jacket and replaced it with one of the robes, pulling the hood over her head. It felt more like a costume then an official uniform, but she spun around for Shiress and asked her friends what they thought of the clothing. Roh then walked over to her pack and took out her crystals.

      “Might as well try other means to gain more info.”

      It was like Hauk said, when seeing the inside of this place. "No matter what, they did not give up."

      "We won't give up."

      The sybil began to set up a ritual area in front of the black shard.
      Most active on weekends.
      User avatar
      Rohka
      So?
       
      Posts: 345
      Words: 366352
      Joined roleplay: May 24th, 2013, 5:28 pm
      Location: Zeltiva
      Race: Human
      Character sheet
      Storyteller secrets
      Journal
      Plotnotes
      Medals: 1
      Mizahar Grader (1)

      [Fall 19 Seasonal Quest] Ripple Me This

      Postby Rohka on December 6th, 2020, 2:35 am

      oocPosting because I want to give Rohka a state of continuity, with what could be tenable. Also because I miss this story. Also because it's fun to write. The cards were shuffled and drawn/popped out while writing. However, please let me know if anything below should be nulled. Thank you.

      Rohka strove to keep it simple. She sat on the ground and pulled out one plain, thick, short candle, about three inches wide and twice as tall. She dusted it off with the sleeve of her robe, blowing away any remaining particles on the wax. She placed the base of it down and used a flint and steel to light the wick. It glowed, setting the area alight with a low, amber warmth.

      Seated with her legs crossed and the hood up, she stared straight into the flame. Her pack sat beside her, open for her to reach into when needed. Something about this moment felt strange. As if it happened before somehow, or as if it was a fragment of something similar. She pushed the thought aside and focused on her breath, slowing it down while she reached for her cards, pulling out a small drawstring pouch.

      Pulling it open, she looked inside and turned the pouch over to release them into her hands. The cards looked different than what she'd remembered of them. They looked pristine, completely new, with not a speck of dirt nor creases on them. She blinked twice, then rubbed her eyes to make sure she was seeing things right. Nothing changed. Her Lheroa cards were all intact and in perfect condition.

      "The work of Rhysol, I'll say," said Roh, in a whisper. She began to shuffle her deck, asking a question aloud.

      "What do we need to know about the state of being here, right now, at this time?"

      The candlelight flickered as she pulled out her answer.

      The knight of swords. She shuffled again, slightly unsatisfied, slightly drawn by a sense of urgency. A need for more answers.

      Out popped three more cards. Just my luck. A reading of four.

      They'd all popped out face down. She breathed in. Here was where she could get creative and assign each one a meaning. The sybil decided to go for it.

      The knight of swords would be the overall theme of their current state. The first would be for what she needed to know about what happened here, in this place, in the past. The second would for what is happening here in the present.

      And the final one would be for what would happen here in the future.

      She flipped the first one over. The star.

      She flipped the second. Four of swords.

      The third. King of cups.

      "Okay," she began. She wasn't worried if no one was listening. She resolved to speak out her truth for the sake of her God's knowledge.

      "The story here, right now, is that we're on a charge. Just like the knight on a horse here. We're leaping before looking, it seems," said Rohka, her heart sinking. She was beginning to worry now, seeing what she was starting to interpret. "But it's also about charging into the future, a person wanting to make a difference and a person who is going to make changes in life."

      She looked to the next card. "In the past, there were hopes here. Perhaps dreams," she said, giving it no more thought. The star was always a hard one for her to interpret.

      "In the present, we've withdrawn from life, like the man laying down here. There's a sense of recovering, perhaps from a loss of djed. Oh," said Roh, thinking of how they got here. "Maybe Rhysol's magic is taking a pause right now."

      She moved onto the final card. "Last but not least, we need to know that the state of being here in the future is akin to being ruled by our emotions almost all the time. Like the King of cups and the ship behind him, in the future, there is an idea of taking off into an emotional quest. A quest which we cannot be dissuaded from. We have to do what we have to do." Rohka raised her brows at this particular revelation. It scared her a bit, to think of what they would do if emotions drew at their core.

      The sybil took in a deep breath. It brought on a brief yawn. She stared at the candlelight once again and continued to stare at it in silence.

      Slowly but surely, she began to feel sleepy.

      "Hey," said Roh, softly, calling for the attention of Shiress who was in sight now. "I'm just going to lay down here. I'll rest and close my eyes but I'll leave the candle to burn. I want the flame to burn in time with me as I attempt to sleep. There was a star card. Hopefully, I'll go into a dream, and I can find symbols there to help us. Wake me if you need me?"

      The sybil lay down in the robes of the past and closed her eyes.
      Most active on weekends.
      User avatar
      Rohka
      So?
       
      Posts: 345
      Words: 366352
      Joined roleplay: May 24th, 2013, 5:28 pm
      Location: Zeltiva
      Race: Human
      Character sheet
      Storyteller secrets
      Journal
      Plotnotes
      Medals: 1
      Mizahar Grader (1)

      Previous

      Who is online

      Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests